Serving the faith communities of Billings, Republic, Clever, Crane, Marionville, Bois D’Arc, Hurley, Galena, and Ash Grove since 1883.
Our mission: Inspired by our patron, St. Joseph, our parish mission is to be a place to encounter Jesus in the sacraments, in worship, and in service to each other and the community by growing together in faith.
Pastor: Father Suganthan Selvin, HGN
Administrative Assistant: Kelly Harter
Office Assistant: Janice Fabro
Custodians: Arthur & Julie Gregg
Maintenance: Larry Fabro & Greg Harter
Parish Pastoral Council: Kim Brayman
Finance Committee: Greg Harter
PSR Coordinator: Sandra Crockett
RCIA Coordinator: Teresa Hanafin
Adult Education: Bobbie Emery
Music Ministry: Anneliese Reeves
St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery was established in 1895, just a short two-minute drive (1.6 miles) from the parish. From the church, go northwest on NW Washington Ave. Turn left on Griesemer Road. Take the first right onto Saint Joseph Road. The cemetery is on the left 0.7 miles ahead.
Gravesites are available for purchase through the St. Joseph Cemetery Board which provides perpetual care. Contact the parish office for more information.
In 1879 for the first time a priest, Father Hennes, came to minister to the needs of the Catholics of the Billings community. He celebrated Mass in the Vogelteich home on the corner of Washington and Pine Street and baptized a child of Patrick Sweeney.
Not until four years later in 1883, were the faithful visited by a priest again, Father Joseph Beck, pastor of St. John Nepomuk Church in Verona, Missouri. He celebrated Mass in the storeroom of William Wolfe and baptized nine children—Charles Fabro, Linda Fabro, Joe Mehl, Frank River, Charles Schaefer, Nellie Sweeney, Richard Wolf, Margaret Keesler and Mary Piscola. The congregation was constituted by the families of Franz Schaefer, Frank Ortwein, Frank Uhrig, Jacob Sauer, William Wolfe, John Piscola, Anton Fabro, Ferdinand Bodei, Jacob River, Michael Mehl, J.B. Berghaus, C.C. Neyer, Adam Griesemer, Edward Schmidt, John Harter, Patrick Sweeney, George Demanche, and William Burger.
Father Beck urged the people to build a church. They were given two lots from the Frisco Railroad and with donations from the Catholic families and from some non-Catholic members of the community under the supervision of John Rauch, a 20’x30’ frame building was erected by the members of the parish. The lumber for the structure was hauled from Arkansas. The total cost of the church was $250.
The first baptism mentioned on the present church records was that of William Sauer, son of Marie and James Sauer. He was baptized by Father Joseph Becker on May 27, 1883, with William H. Wolf and Eva M. Griesemer as godparents. The first recorded wedding was that of J.P. Grinnin and M.F. Robertson of Republic. The ceremony was conducted by Father Paul, O.S.B., on October 20, 1895, and witnessed by H. Baron and Mary Ruschitzka. The first funeral Mass recorded was celebrated by Fathers T. Ignatius, O.S.B. and Willibrord, O.S.B. on July 19, 1899. The Requiem Mass was for John Sulliavan who had died at the age of 77. The first Confirmation class was held on May 19, 1898, at which time Archbishop John Joseph Glennon confirmed nine boys and fourteen girls. Prior to this time, parish statistic had ben entered in the records of the parish of St. John Nepomuk (now known as Sacred Heart Church) in Verona.
In 1884, Franz Schaefer donated one acre of land for a cemetery. In 1888, the first choir was organized.
Father Beck was pastor until 1886. From 1886-through 1887, Father F.C. Becker was pastor. In 1888, the priests of Conception Abbey in Conception, Missouri, came to minister to the needs of the people of St. Joseph’s which was a mission of St. John Nepomuk (Sacred Heart Church), Verona. They served the parish for twelve years.
It became necessary in 1890, under the pastorate of Father John, O.S.B., to enlarge the church and a frame structure 30’x40’ was designed by W.E. Foley of Springfield. It was constructed by John Kastendieck, a local resident, at a cost of $800. It was dedicated by Abbot Frowin Conrad, O.S.B. of Conception Abbey. An organ was purchased for the church this year.
The original church was then used for a parish school with John Lauber as a teacher. During the succeeding years, various lay teachers were in charge of the school.
Visit the diocesan parish directory to learn more about our parish and others.
Want to grow in your faith, meet new friends, and help better our community? Come worship with us this weekend. And join one of our many classes, groups, and ministries today!